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Confronting the 1.5 Degree Challenge and Accelerating NDC Implementation in the Caribbean

On Monday, November 13th at 1:15 pm, the region will host a side event on the 1.5 vs 2 degree paper prepared by Professor Michael Taylor of the University of West Indies, Mona Campus. Professor Taylor will be joined by high-level representatives, including members from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and regional Prime Ministers to present on the importance of 1.5 degree for the survival of the region. This 45 minute side event will be followed by a 45 minute event to present the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Financing Initiative.

 

Confronting the 1.5 Degree Challenge and Accelerating NDC Implementation in the Caribbean

Joint Side Event to highlight the high vulnerability of Caribbean Countries to the impacts of climate change, as well as their commitment and leadership in addressing climate change. In the context of this side event, the Caribbean NDC Financing Initiative will be introduced.

Monday, 13 Nov 2017
13:15—14:45
Meeting Room 9

Speakers:

  • Ministerial representation from Caribbean countries;
  • President of the Caribbean Development Bank;
  • University of the West Indies;
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States;
  • Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre;
  • GIZ Germany;
  • NDC Partnership;
  • the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Regional NGO Moves To Advance Caribbean Climate Interests

Indi Mclymont Lafayette

PANOS Caribbean, together with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), will today launch a two-day climate change workshop geared at helping to advance the interests of Caribbean small-island developing states.The workshop, which is to see the participation of some 12 journalists and eight artistes from the region, is being held in St Lucia, ahead of this year’s international climate talks set for Paris, France in December.

The journalists and artistes, including Jamaica’s Aaron Silk, are complemented by participants from St Lucia’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science, and Technology – another partner in the workshop.

“The workshop is a prep meeting for Paris, pulling together a range of stakeholders, including popular artistes and journalists with the aim to come up with a strategy to bring attention to the small island position of ‘1.5 degrees to stay alive’,” said Indi Mclymont Lafayette, country coordinator and programme director with Panos.

“We really want to ensure that if an agreement is signed in Paris, it is one that won’t mean the death of small islands in the long run,” she added.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), including CARICOM, have as far back as the Copenhagen Talks in 2009, called for a long-term goal to “limit global average temperatures to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to long-term stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations to well below 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent”.

At the time, science adviser to AOSIS Dr Al Binger predicted that given sea-level rise, residents of small island states would eventually have to ‘swim for it’.

“We need to improve our boat-building art [and] teach our kids to swim because sooner or later, we are going to have to swim for it,” he said.

Speaking more recently at the French Embassy-hosted climate change debate in Kingston this year, physicist and head of the Climate Studies Group Mona, Dr Michael Taylor, painted a grim picture for a Caribbean in a world where average global temperatures exceed 1.5 degrees.

According to Taylor, the two degrees advanced by developed country partners may prove “too much for us to deal with”, given warmer days and nights and more variable rainfall, among other impacts,now being experienced.

Meanwhile, Mclymont Lafayette said the workshop – having educated artistes about climate change and journalists on reporting on it – would seek to craft a communication plan to bring a broader set of stakeholders up to date as to what is at stake for the region.

Strategy

“We are looking at a strategy over the next few months of some of the things that could be done. [These include] the journalists to report on climate change; the artistes to use their performing platforms and media interviews to bring attention to the issues and the negotiators to work in tandem with them,” she said.

“It would be good if we could have an awareness campaign leading up to Paris and also while in Paris, have a side event that would really capture a lot of the issues and provide a gateway for hearing or having good discussions on the impacts on the islands,”Mclymont Lafayette added.

The workshop – done with co-financing from Climate Analytics, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre – forms a part of a larger Panos project for which they continue to fundraise.

That project aims promote civil society involvement in the discourse on climate change in the region, through, among other things, facilitating their participation in the upcoming Paris Talks.

Credit: Jamaica Gleaner

Caribbean formatting climate change strategy for Paris meeting

A plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire, USA in January this year. The COP 21 Paris talks scheduled for later this year will be the stage for the countries of the world to agree to reducing carbon emissions from power plants, factories, and other types of industry, in order to keep global temperatures down. US President Barack Obama will today unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing US power plants. The Obama Administration first proposed the rule last year. Opponents plan to sue immediately to stop the rule’s implementation. (PHOTO: AP)

Government climate negotiators and civil society groups from the Caribbean who met with artistes and journalists here last week have discussed strategies to drum up local awareness and attract international attention as part of the region’s preparation for the climate change meeting in Paris at the end of the year.

The plan is to roll out some of the projects simultaneously across the region ahead of the Paris talks and stage one or two others during the session.

The Paris talks are called COP 21 and will be the stage for the countries of the world to agree to reducing carbon emissions from power plants, factories, and other types of industry, in order to keep global temperatures down.

Island states, according to published scientific data, are projected to suffer the most from increasing temperatures and the related sea level rise. As such, the Caribbean, as part of the Alliance of Small Island States, is seeking to start a movement among its own peoples to shine a light on the specific ways the region will be affected in hopes that it will sway the developed world.

If carbon emissions continue unabated, projections are that global temperatures will rise by as much as four degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Globally, the discussion is to keep it at two degrees, but the Caribbean wants to limit it to 1.5 degrees and has been using the slogan ‘1.5 to stay alive’.

St Lucia’s minister of sustainable development Senator James Fletcher, who hosted the meeting, explained the rationale for the regional approach.

“The region has not done enough to elevate the issue of climate change… we need to amplify our voices both in the region and on the international stage,” he said.

Fletcher suggested that the Caribbean follow the example of the Pacific Islands, which, he said, was a good example of climate action on a regional scale, by co-ordinating the messages it wants to be communicated in ways that galvanise support and attract mass attention.

The St Lucia meeting was called ‘Climate Voices on and for Climate Change’. In addition to the ministry of sustainable development, its sponsors included Panos Caribbean, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Organization of American States.

Credit: Jamaica Observer

“The latest IPCC Assessment Report should serve as a further wakeup call to our region,” ~5Cs

Credit: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Not for use without written permission.

Credit: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Not for use without written permission.

Belmopan, Belize September 27, 2013― The IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, confirms the Caribbean Community’s longstanding call to limit global temperature rise to 1.50C. At the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (CoP) Meeting in 2009, which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Caribbean Community indicated to the world community that a global temperature rise above 1.50C would seriously affect the survival of the community.

In 2010 at the UNFCCC CoP Meeting in Cancun, governments agreed that emissions need to be kept at a level that would ensure global temperature increases would be limited to below 20C. At that time, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) re-iterated that any rise in temperature above 1.50C would seriously affect their survival and compromise their development agenda.

The latest Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report AR5 re-affirms the position reached in its AR4 Report.  The position reached at that time was that it is very likely that the temperature rise will be in excess of 20C with a possible rise as high as 30C.

The United Nations (UN) Human Development Report (2008) and the State of the World Report (2009) of The Worldwatch Institute have identified 20C as the threshold above which irreversible and dangerous climate change will become unavoidable.

The latest IPCC Assessment Report should serve as a further wakeup call to our region that we cannot continue on a business as usual trajectory. It is an imperative that climate change be integrated in every aspect of the region’s development agenda, as well as its short, medium and long-term planning. The region must also continue to aggressively engage its partners at the bilateral and multilateral levels to reduce their emissions. The best form of adaptation is reduction in emissions level.

Also read: Human influence on the climate system is clear, says new IPCC report
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